U. S. Grant Camp, No. 68: Historical Information


U.S. Grant in St. Louis

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Vicksburg 1863

Daring Exploit


The Brilliant Exploit of Lt. Wells H. Blodgett and Orderly Peter Basnett:

One of the coolest and most extraordinary of the war is thus described in a letter by Brig. Gen. E. B. Brown, dated Springfield, Mo.  After a preliminary description of an engagement with the rebels, eighteen miles from Newtonia, General Brown proceeds:

"Gen. Schofield sent Lt. Blodgett, attended by an orderly, with orders to Col. Hall, Fourth Missouri Cavalry, to move to the left, and attack in that direction.  The route of the Lieutenant was across a point of woods, in which, while passing, he suddenly found himself facing about forty rebels drawn up in irregular line.  Without a moment's hesitation, he and the orderly drew their pistols and charged.

At the same time, tempering bravery with mercy, and not feeling any desire to shed blood needlessly, he drew out his handkerchief and waved it in token of his willingness to surround and capture the whole rebel force than shoot them down."

"The cool impudence of the act nonplused the foe, and perhaps thinking there was a large force in the rear, eight of them threw down their arms and surrendered, and the balance skedaddled.  It is difficult to say which I admired most in the Lieutenant, his bravery in making the charge against such odds, when to have hesitated a moment was certain death, or his presence of mind and coolness in offering them their lives.  The orderly, too, deserves more than a passing notice.  His name was Peter Basnett, and he was at one time Sheriff of Brown County, Wis.  The Lieutenant and orderly were well matched--both quiet and determined men.  I am glad of having an opportunity of bearing testimony to the bravery and soldierly conduct of Lieutenant Wells H. Blodgett..."

Source:  The Civil War in Song and Story 1860-1865, by Frank Moore;  P.F. Collier Publisher; 1889


TRAMP! TRAMP! TRAMP! or The Prisoner's Hope

By George Frederick Root (1864)

Midi File courtesy of  Benjamin Robert Tubb [website] . 

In the prison cell I sit, thinking Mother, dear, of you,

And our bright and happy home so far away,

And the tears, they fill my eyes 'spite of all that I can do,

Tho' I try to cheer my comrades and be gay. 


Tramp, tramp, tramp, the boys are marching, 

Cheer up, comrades, they will come,

And beneath the starry flag we shall breathe the air again

Of the free land in our own beloved home. 

In the battle front we stood, when their fiercest charge they made,

And they swept us off a hundred men or more,

But before we reached their lines, they were beaten back dismayed,

And we heard the cry of vict'ry o'er and o'er. 


So within the prison cell we are waiting for the day

That shall come to open wide the iron door,

And the hollow eye grows bright, and the poor heart almost gay,

As we think of seeing home and friends once more. 


Copyright U.S. Grant Camp #68. SUVCW St. Louis, MO

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